Death of a fashion designer – Fashion will never be the same

If I asked you to name five of the most influential fashion designers, who would you name? Perhaps you would say Ralph Lauren, or maybe you particularly like the work of Oscar de la Renta, whilst names like Elie Saab, Armani, and Calvin Klein are never far away from the minds of fashionista’s. There are several names that you could mention, but what if I told you that probably one of the most powerful and influential fashion designers at the moment is actually an architecture graduate from MIT, you would probably say I was crazy wouldn’t you?…..

….but actually I’m not, and I’m going to tell you why:

3D printed dress
This dress is made from plastic but has the same characteristics as fabric

Jessica Rozenkrantz is a creative director at the company Nervous System, she’s not actually a fashion designer, she really possesses a degree in architecture and biology which she obtained from the American technology university MIT in 2005. The company, Nervous System is a design studio which “works at the intersection of science, art, and technology”. In short they use computers to come up with designs. But what’s really interesting is that she also helped to design a 3D printed dress which moves and sways like real fabric. Now you may be wondering:

Isn’t 3D printing for computer geeks, and what does it have to do with fashion:

If you didn’t already know, 3D printing allows a person to design something, and then get it printed out in three dimensions. This means that the design that they came up with looks like a real thing which they can touch and feel (and in this case wear), the real beauty of 3D printing means that you get everything almost immediately once it’s been printed. Back in December 2014 Wired magazine reported a project with other companies such as Google, in this project Jessica Rozenkrantz and her team created a dress made out of plastic, which moves like real fabric and was created almost instantaneously, she even created bespoke jewellery which was made perfect in every single detail which meant that it would never ever chafe the person who wore it.

Think about this for just a second:

It’s Saturday morning, you are going to a hot party in town tonight, and you don’t have a dress to wear. You would look on the regular fashion sites, like Asos, BooHoo, River Island, and you see a dress you like, perfect! You go to buy it, and opps your size is completely sold out. You still need a dress for tonight so you might hit the shops, you brave all the Saturday shoppers, and go to the store, only to find that the dress you wanted, doesn’t actually look all that great. It’s Saturday night, and you don’t have that dress, the horror!

Is there another way?

Well yes, let’s imagine an alternative world where it’s Saturday morning, and you have a hot party to go to, but no dress, but instead of shopping online, you create your own dress, designing it down to the finest detail, from the colour, to the details on the buttons, because it’s your design, you can even get the sizing for it perfect. Now imagine in this world, that you could have that same dress on a Saturday afternoon, ready for your hot party, no bad sizing, no missed deliveries, no colour and style problems. Instead, you would have the perfect dress, made by you, for you, in the way you want it. Sounds impossible doesn’t it?

But actually it’s closer than you think:

With the experiment from Jessica Rozenkrantz, it seems that this kind of fashion design is about to happen, as this technology develops, not only does the fashion industry change from a buying perspective, but also the world of fashion design changes. Instead of blogging about the styles from John Paul Gaultier, and Ralph Lauren, we would actually be talking about regular people who have realised their beautiful designs in reality thanks to technology, where the cover of Vogue is no longer talking about new collections, and instead the new collections are being created in the homes of everyday people every single week. The possibilities are endless.

It’s unlikely that the work being done around 3D printing and fabrics will be affordable and realised in the near future, but if the trend catches on, we won’t be just talking about five new designers, we’ll be talking about hundreds of them.  What do you all think?  Is it good to bring fashion design to the fingertips of regular people, or should it remain in the hands of the professionals?  Give us your views.

The fashion designer (could be) dead, long live the fashion designer!

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